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...But Can't Attract U.S. Students

I would like to address a serious problem that has immediate and long-range consequences for biomedical education, the medical profession, and community health in general. It concerns, specifically, the alarming decrease in the number of young people seeking careers in biomedical research, medicine, and allied health professions. According to statistics compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the number of college students taking the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT) has

George Pappas

I would like to address a serious problem that has immediate and long-range consequences for biomedical education, the medical profession, and community health in general. It concerns, specifically, the alarming decrease in the number of young people seeking careers in biomedical research, medicine, and allied health professions.

According to statistics compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the number of college students taking the Medical College Aptitude Test (MCAT) has decreased precipitously, and the mean score of those students taking the exam continues to decline. The situation for graduate students entering Ph.D. programs is even more grim. It is obvious that bright young people today are not interested in careers in the health field—either as practicing physicians, academicians, or research scientists.

Word is out that careers in the health field are not desirable, whether in terms of prestige, job, security, or financial reward. Why is this? One reason is...

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